The works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 4

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Page 166 - You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry " Hold, hold !
Page 386 - ... with which performance struggles after idea, is so irksome and disgusting, and so frequent is the necessity of resting below that perfection which we imagined within our reach, that seldom any man obtains more from his endeavours than a painful conviction of his defects, and a continual resuscitation of desires which he feels himself unable to gratify.
Page 166 - Yet the efficacy of this invocation is destroyed by the insertion of an epithet now seldom heard but in the stable, and dun night may come or go without any other notice than contempt.
Page 20 - This modest stone, what few vain marbles can, May truly say, Here lies an honest man : A Poet, blest beyond the Poet's fate, Whom Heaven kept sacred from the Proud and Great : Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease, Content with science in the vale of peace. Calmly he look'd on either life, and here Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear ; From Nature's...
Page 20 - And when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago. Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Dipt me in Ink, my parents, or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. I left no calling for this idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobey'd. The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not Wife, To help me thro...
Page 205 - The depravity of mankind is so easily discoverable, that nothing but the desert or the cell can exclude it from notice. The knowledge of crimes intrudes uncalled and undesired. They whom their abstraction from common occurrences hinders from seeing iniquity, will quickly have their attention awakened by feeling it. Even he who ventures not into the world, may learn its corruption in his closet.
Page 384 - SUCH is the emptiness of human enjoyment, that we are always impatient of the present. Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust; and the malicious remark of the Greek epigrammatist on marriage may be applied to every other course-of life, that its two days of happiness are the first and the last.
Page 165 - We are all offended by low terms, but are not disgusted alike by the same compositions, because we do not all agree to censure the same terms as low. No word is naturally or intrinsically meaner than another ; our opinion therefore of words, as of other things arbitrarily and capriciously established, depends wholly upon accident and custom.
Page 146 - It is particularly the duty of those who consign illustrious names to posterity, to take care lest their readers be misled by ambiguous examples. That writer may be justly condemned as an enemy to goodness, who suffers fondness or interest to confound right with wrong, or to shelter the faults which •even the wisest and the best have committed from that ignominy which guilt ought always to suffer, and with which it should be more deeply stigmatized when dignified by its neighbourhood to uncommon...
Page 166 - Yet this sentiment is weakened by the name of an instrument used by butchers and cooks in the meanest employments: we do not immediately conceive that any crime of importance is to be committed with a knife...

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